MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis-based Church of God in Christ is named in a lawsuit which details decades-old allegations of sex crimes.
The suit also names two New York churches, and an assistant pastor.
Warren Curtis alleges he was sexually abused in a New York church when he was a child.
Curtis alleges, about 45 years ago, he was sexually abused and assaulted by multiple church leaders – some of whom are dead now.
New York’s Child Victims Act extends or eliminates the statute of limitations. That is how Curtis can file the lawsuit so many years later.
The suit says the now 57-year-old man was an organist at a young age and joined the church. It alleges the preacher would take Curtis to and from practice – and over time, began "fondling" him.
The fondling would become rape that continued from 1974 through 1978, according to the lawsuit. Curtis allegedly reported the abuse and the clergy’s response was that they would help Curtis by praying to “remove the demons from within him.” The lawsuit claims negligent supervision, assault and battery, and conspiracy to commit fraud, saying those named in the lawsuit engaged in a coordinated effort to conceal the allegations of sexual assault and abuse.
The victim also claimed he is suffering from permanent physical and emotional injuries including ongoing humiliation, irritability, personality changes, a loss of faith, and a loss of earnings.
FOX13 reached out to COGIC for a comment.
A spokesperson said, “The Church of God in Christ does not comment on pending litigation."
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